Following on from yesterday’s social gardening post, I was thinking about the actual technology available to us to extend our sociability and creativity.
As gardeners we look and learn from what is literally growing around us, we read about techniques or new developments, we taste a new vegetable, we see a flower in bloom – maybe an unusual colour or leaf pattern attracts us. Technology makes looking over the garden fence even more accessible.
Sitting at my computer I can access hundreds of thousands, no let’s make that millions of gardens. And all aspects of gardens and gardening, from a rooftop terrace in Mexico, to a courtyard in Israel, a terrace in Hong Kong, a community garden in Cuba, a wilderness in Alaska or a formal botanical garden in Sri Lanka. They are all there. Along with the plants, the tools and the people.
I can pick up ideas, watch things literally grow before my eyes, I can see for myself how they grow, their look and share in the pleasure of the gardener or the visitor.
And taking my creative, sociable and technological thoughts a step further I was thinking about my journey through it all, me as a gardener and thought about Gardening and the Web, it’s development and my journey
- From the early shaky homespun web sites onto vast resources at the BBC or shopping online whether it is seeds from a specialist nursery in the US or tools from Portugal
- Forums and online magazines to ask questions, to form a community, to share information
- Watching videos on YouTube of how to make a paper pot
- Flickr and creating an online photo albumn of the seasons
- Onto blogging with diarising and sharing your thoughts from your garden
- To Twitter and following and asking questions, making light of the ugly tomato you have grown at home
- Facebook and sharing links to interesting articles or gardens you have visited
- Pinterest and the scrapbooking of your favourite design ideas
The commonality is they are all social and sociable. There are communities and groups sharing and talking of their passions and interests whether its food or art, cars or films, in my case gardening and the food we sit down to eat every day.
As I’ve said previously I created my blog to capture my garden and a part of my life. Through that I’ve made immeasurable connections and joined and shaped a community. The blog is my personal record. I’m beginning to think outside of my work, to consider my dreams again. Where they lead I don’t know. But technology is a part of it.
Have you see the cupcake analogy? I think it’s apt!
I’ve yet to try Instagram, but have to giggle about the cupcake analogy!
I’ve bypassed YouTube, I can’t ever see me making films, way to inhibited for that! I tried Flickr but didn’t really settle with the idea – an online photo albumn is fine in its own right but I realise that without the words, the photos don’t work for me. Next up I joined Twitter, to find out what was happening out there, to follow and see how it all works. The jury is still out – I haven’t found a rhythm there yet, not quite sure where I belong. I’ve recently set up a Facebook page to record, I’m don’t know yet – ideas or photos that don’t “sit” on my blog, links to articles or things I’ve seen, maybe some quotes, who knows.
And then there came the day I signed up for a Pinterest account, to see what all the noise was about. I couldn’t work it out at first, why pin photos and links, isn’t that all about who you want to be not who you are now? Then it twigged I could use it instead of my Favourites file on Internet Explorer – see something I want to make at home, pin it! Nice and tidy, visual and available. So far it’s mostly recipes that I pick up from my fellow bloggers, salads and cakes, drinks and snacks that someday I want to make and try for myself. An online home for my recipe folder.
And yet I still carry a notebook, for ideas as I walk, or sit on a train, an address or name that comes up in conversation and if I remember to, to note when and where I planted something. Pen and paper is still my first port of call. My camera (whether it’s the biggie, the pocket digital or my phone) are always with me to capture a moment a sight or an idea.
Social media has allowed me as a gardener to literally be more sociable, Marie described it as sitting round a campfire telling stories, I love than analogy. And all the while it’s letting me explore my creativity. Capture my moments and moods, my life and my dreams.
Do you tweet, like or pin and if so why? I’ve dutifully set up the links on my blog, clicked on those that have them on theirs. But I’m wondering why I am! Is it to explore the new? To join in to be part of the crowd? To find a way to express yourself? All of those things…..
We have these amazing tools at our hands in Social Media and we have the creative human. A heady mix if ever. And I wonder what next for the sociable and creative gardener? What will technology bring me next?